The article introduces the development history of open source intelligence work, analyzes the value and shortcomings of open source intelligence, and puts forward some suggestions for open source intelligence work in my country based on the analysis of the status of open source intelligence work in developed countries such as the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) work is an intelligence topic that has attracted widespread attention in the past decade. Open source intelligence, as defined by the National Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense, is the collection of information from publicly available sources, the development and timely delivery of this information to specific users to meet their intelligence needs. Specifically, open source intelligence has multiple meanings: One is also understood in a narrow sense, referring to the open source of intelligence sources and intelligence content, that is, obtaining public information from public intelligence sources, analyzing and sorting it out, and passing it on to users; The second is a broad understanding. In addition to the open source of intelligence sources and intelligence content, it also emphasizes the open source of work. First, all employees of the organization can participate in intelligence work anytime and anywhere. Second, it emphasizes the sharing and common use of intelligence. Judging from the current content of relevant research and work at home and abroad, in most cases people refer to open source intelligence work in a narrow sense. Generally speaking, intelligence sources for open source intelligence work include:

(1) Media: newspapers, magazines, radio and television, electronic publications.

(2) Online communities: SNS websites, video websites, Wikipedia, blogs.

(3) Public data: government reports, statistical data released by the government, and operational data disclosed by listed companies.

1. The development history of open source intelligence work

From the perspective of work content, open source intelligence work is not a new term, it has a long history. Over the past century, many personnel from news media, research institutions, and social intelligence agencies have been engaged in the collection and analysis of various types of public information. It’s just that for quite some time in the past, open source intelligence work did not attract enough attention. Many countries and agencies focused their intelligence work on secret intelligence (such as information obtained through spies, military satellites, etc.) and paid intelligence (such as information obtained through spies, military satellites, etc.) Such as information in various commercial databases), but only regard open source intelligence as a marginal work.

The first person to pay attention to the value of open source intelligence work was David Steele, a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer. As early as 1992, Steele proposed in an article titled E3i: Ethics, Ecology, Evolution, and Intelligence written for Whole Earth Review magazine: National intelligence work should change its working thinking and pay attention to intelligence sharing and open source. Intelligence, replacing traditional secret intelligence work. Steele is also known as the father of open source intelligence. However, due to the limitations of the amount of intelligence available through open source channels at that time and the social needs of open source intelligence, the concept of open source intelligence proposed by David Steele did not attract the attention of the government and society at the time.

The turning point in the development of open source intelligence work was the 9.110 incident in the United States. Before the September 110 incident, the enemies faced by the United States (such as Nazi Germany, the former Soviet Union, Iraq, North Korea, etc.) were very clear. In the process of dealing with the threats of these enemies, the United States formed a system based on the CIA, the Department of Defense, etc. core national intelligence systems and operate effectively. These intelligence systems have the following characteristics: (1) From the perspective of intelligence attributes, it is mainly secret intelligence work; (2) From the perspective of job holders, intelligence work is handled by professional intelligence personnel within the national intelligence system; (3) From the perspective of intelligence acquisition means, before World War II, intelligence personnel were the main method (so-called human intelligence Humint), and after World War II, intelligence equipment such as satellites, bugs, and candid cameras were mainly used (so-called signals intelligence Sigint and image intelligence Imint).

However, after the September 110 incident, the number one enemy of the United States became terrorist organizations. After reflection, the government and the people discovered that the enemies they now face are often invisible and intangible, and many terrorist organizations are hidden in society. Moreover, many terrorists are not abnormal at ordinary times, but after being influenced by certain radical ideological trends, they may do many shocking things. For example, the protagonist of the bombing in Times Square, New York, in May 2010 is an example.

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